And so began my latest trip to the Azores. However, once the stop-starty start had been overcome it was a high-octane, fun-filled, knockabout adventure amidst the beautiful landscapes of Terceira and São Miguel.
High-octane gulling, I assume he was gulling as he was tazzing around within metres of the pontoons in Ponta Delgada harbour. He probably got some cracking views of Glaucous and Ring-billed Gull.
On Terceira, days were largely spent touring such fragrant delights as the tip, the fishing port and the
Gull. Tip. Gull tip tip: speak to the manager of the tip and gain a VIP pass and a front row seat at the tipping face,... get in!
First-winter 'Azores Gull', this one looks a bit fluffy because it is preening in readiness for going out on the town, they don't all look this fluffy.
First-winter 'Azores Gull', the main confusion species here is Laughing Gull, just because a gull is laughing does not mean it's a Laughing Gull. This one is actually laughing because it had seen a hilarious discussion about a stringy 'Azores Gull' on Facebook.
Second-winter 'Azores Gull'. There is always a modicum of head-scratching when gull watching, this one is pondering the much overlooked conundrums that Lesser Black-backed Gull can cause.
An, as yet unidentified, small, presumably first-winter, gull.
Variously aged 'Azores Gulls' all nicely lined up on the quayside. On this evidence it appears first-winters and adults can appear very fuzzy, an anti-predator strategy p'raps?
Probably an advanced second-winter,... or retarded third-winter,... or downright educationally subnormal fourth-winter,...
A poorly looking fish. Luckily this Great Black-backed Gull was on hand to attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation,... did not go quite as it should. I should probably have intervened when the gull started by pulling the patient's guts out through his bunghole,... I knew that wasn't what you're supposed to do.
Sub-adult (third/fourth-winter) 'Azores Gull' with young 'uns looking on.
The gull roost in the port at Praia da Vitória.